Police Warn They Will Fine Anyone Who Attends Today's Black Lives Matter Protest In Sydney
The New South Wales Court of Appeal ruled yesterday (Monday, July 27) that the Black Lives Matter protest planned for Sydney today is illegal.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, authorities deemed that it was an unacceptable risk to the public's health for hundreds of people to gather together.
Despite this ruling, organisers of the event have vowed to push on because they feel it's an important time to keep the BLM agenda on the front of everyone's minds.
But they have been warned that NSW Police will be out in force to punish anyone who attends. NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller issued the threat last week on 2GB Radio that they would be throwing out fines left, right and centre if the event was deemed illegal.
"Whether I can write two or three thousand tickets, I don't know. But do you want to be that person to get the first ticket?" he said.
But organisers think they have a small loophole that will allow people to gather for the rally without breaking the rules.
The Justice For David Dungay Jnr Facebook page said: "We lost in the Court of Appeal. But the fight for justice must continue. Sovereignty has never been ceded. Join us on Gadigal land in the Domain - Djarrbarrgalli at 12 noon.
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"Police are threatening mass fines so we will comply with the COVID-19 regulations that say we can not be in groups of more than 20. It's a big park so spread out to listen to the voices for justice. Stay apart to build unity for action."
Organisers reckon if everyone is spaced out then authorities technically can't arrest or fine them because the rules stipulate you can be in groups of 20.
Organiser Paddy Gibson said: "Come and have your lunch in the Domain. It's not illegal to have your lunch in the park in the city of Sydney still even under the COVID-19 pandemic...we'll be continuing to raise our voice for justice."
Police are worried that, with the second wave of coronavirus infections going on in Victoria at the moment, a large gathering of people in New South Wales would be a bad idea.
There are around 1,400 people who have clicked attending on today's rally and about 3,400 are interested. How many of those will actually turn up, especially in the weather conditions, is anyone's guess.
Featured Image Credit: PA